Wednesday, September 30, 2020

That Season...That "Glorious Season"

This is the last day of September, the skies have opened up and gave us a much needed drink. I have not seen an actual rainfall number but from my not so sophisticated rain gauge I make it 2 inches. From radar views the state may have exceeded 3 inches. This influx of water will have an impact on the small streams and bring some movement in wild trout.

The scene above is the start of the "glorious season"...that magical time when nature paints the New England area. The colors that come forth this time of year are nothing shy of incomparable. The season refreshes both mind and soul and gives us thought to the fact that there is something greater and this is just one way of showing us.


Both the brown trout and the brook trout choose this time to start the process of renewing their  species.

The colors of these fish will increase as time arrives to spawn.

Scenes like this are fully underway in Connecticut.

Autumn's colors are represented in this simple box of flies. I believe that these will serve me well for he next couple of months.


Sunday, September 27, 2020

Flies Of The Season

I wrote a post a few days ago and where it went to is anybody's guess. I am not the most proficient user of anything technical. Well now I shall give it another shot. A recap on that post and what I tried to convey was the fact that I could never be a commercial fly tyer. When I sit down to tie a fly my thoughts are of what that fly is going to do and mean to the angler that actually fishes it. So while I wrap thread and hair and dubbing I am in thought as to how the final product will perform.

A favorite pattern of mine is the Partridge and Orange, it works well all year but it takes on special meaning during the fall season. It's color alone is representative of the season. Well yesterday I took a few of these flies, the Cabela's CGR , and Jeanette and I visited a lake.

The lake visit was more of an early foliage check which I may say was pretty nice. I guess we are about a week or so away from peak.

The time spent fishing the lake gave me a half dozen of these guys. Big time jumpers these smallies.

The surprise was this rainbow. I know there are trout in the lake but I have never caught one this early in the fall season. November is action time here for trout. Both the small mouth and the rainbow were all taken on the Partridge and Orange.

Maybe some Partridge and Yellow, along with Partridge and Red on the next trip.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Frosty Morning.....

Last week  Bill Trussell asked me when we here in Connecticut would receive our first frost. Normally the northwestern part of the state gets it first and that's usually the last week of September. Where I live in central CT. it's generally mid October. Well Bill we got a frost yesterday morning, and one this morning. I gauge cold mornings by the way my coffee cup feels when I reach for it in the morning. I lift it off the counter and if it feels cold and hot water is needed to warm it up before I fix my coffee then it's a frosty morning.

I fished yesterday and found the stream very much to my liking. The leaves are starting to thin so sections that were shaded are now open to more sun. Naturally this leads to more cautious trout.

My thermometer was called into action and a sample temp was taken...kind of cool wouldn't you say?

I noticed some of these, I think they are edible. Help needed on a ID.

A lovely little run/pool. Places like this almost certainly hold trout, but where would they be? I took a guess they would be at the tail of the pool. The fly was cast about mid pool and allowed to drift. It's completion went untouched. Several more casts brought the same result. I then cast the fly to the very head of the pool into the broken water. The fly hung up on a stone, as I pulled the fly free I saw a fish move towards it. Lifting it up and casting again I got the fly to float freely and the fish hit it again.

This feisty little guy was in his "close to spawn" autumn colors. A beautiful sight this frosty morning.


Friday, September 18, 2020

Silk Threads, And Effective Flies

A few posts ago I talked of a new to me silk thread that was available. The name of that thread is Ephemera. It's a fine thread and it's colors are deep. The thread works quite nicely and it's diameter is thin but it has strength and does not break when some muscle is applied. I have also found it to be break resistant when it accidentally hits the hook point. I have three spools of thread pictured above. The one on the right is YLI silk, the center is Ephemera silk and on the left Uni thread.

Here are some Partridge and Green soft hackle flies. These are all tied with Ephemera silk. In Sylvester Nemes  book "The Soft-Hackled Fly" he lists two recipes of this fly, one with a thorax and one without. These are tied with a thorax of hares ear dubbing.

The Partridge and Green soft-hackle...This is how it looks wet. This fly has worked well everywhere I have fished it, and as a matter of fact it was responsible for some of the most beautiful brook trout I have caught in the streams of Shenandoah National Park. Uncomplicated, simple and very effective.


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

A Small Stream

It was up early yesterday for me. I had planned to fish a small stream that was about an hour and a half away. The morning was quite chilly and that first cup of coffee really tasted and felt good. So after some scrambled eggs I put the "little rod" the little line and a few flies in the car and set off to see how this stream was going to treat me. It seemed a bit odd as I pulled off the hard road onto the dirt road. The little pull off had a SUV parked in it. I tried to fit the Honda in there to but there was not enough room. I drove up a little further and found another nook that I was able to get the car in. This road does not get much traffic. The few homes and camps and the cars that belong to the owners are about all the traffic on that road. Maybe the SUV was fishing or perhaps scouting out some deer.

Geared up I walked to the stream. As you can see it was in beautiful condition. This area is kind of rugged and reminds me of the streams I fished in Shenandoah Nat. Park. The water was cold and clear and within seconds I scattered several brookies. I pulled out the "Tiny Ten", tied on a soft hackle and started to work the pool. 15 minutes later I realized I scared the fish into their under rock lies. Move on Alan.

In this landscape of large rocks and boulders, hemlocks galore and a few oaks for good measure I found this patch of wild asters.

This pool was amazing. It was deep, and a cobble bottom and a undercut. I fished it for a good half hour, changing flies a few times. I had several strikes and a few hookups but not a single fish to hand. The one thing about tenkara fishing is the fact that a net is mandatory if you want to photograph a fish. It is difficult to bring a fish to hand when you are unable to grab the line and gain control.

Fortunately I was able to accomplish one to hand without a net. A nice healthy brook trout. Unusual spotting on this one but it's green body was a sight I have not seen in some time. Most of the brookies were about the same size with a few smaller ones in the mix, which is a good sign.

I'll probable be back here in the weeks to come, both with Tiny Ten and the Small Stream Reflections bamboo.

Saturday, September 12, 2020


The "flymph"...a stage of an insects life, not an adult or a nymph but the stage where it's coming to the surface and is vulnerable to the trout. The fly itself is a wet fly but one that is tied without wings, usually with a dubbed body and silk is the thread of choice. These flies offer a meatier profile then a spider pattern which is also a flymph... in other words they are both emergers.

The first fly is a "Gray Fox Flymph"... It has a dubbed body with gold rib and partridge feather.

This fly is a "Gray Dun" features a gray dubbed body with a gold rib and a dun hackle.

This fly is a "Blonde Starling" features a coq de leon tail, a black dubbed body, silver rib and a blonde starling hackle.

This flymph is what it looks like wet. You can see the silk thread underbody coming through the dubbing. Silk thread is so important in the effectiveness of these flies.

"Big Jim"...a flymph I created in the name of Jim Liesenring, the master of the flymph. He along with Pete Hidy were the pioneers of this type of fly.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

A State Of Well Being Revisited

You have read many times in my posts a reference of "brook trout forest". It is but three words of a title to that wonderful book by Kathy Scott that has so much meaning to me. Brook Trout Forest came full circle to me this past weekend when Jeanette and I paid a visit to a stream within the southern part of the Green Mountains. A lovely area that is part of the headwaters of the Deerfield river. It is a place I first visited five years ago just a few months after it was forever protected. I have over the last five years visited here several times and have become close to this area in mind and soul. It is very rugged and peaceful and will strain your resources but I'll never whimper for it will refresh you in such a way that is hard to put into words. So come along with me and enjoy "brook trout forest"....

The trail as it winds down the mountain. Gentle here and welcomed by two seasoned hikers.

The river a destination like no other. Very large boulders in parts of this stream which lead to some peaceful pools.

I did not where waders choosing hiking shoes instead. Wet wading was not planned but did occur.

The crystal clear water of this pool actually held brook trout...can't see them, but they see you.

Wild jewel is how I describe what is in my hand. He still swims the waters of "brook trout forest"..

This one of the first pools I fished when came here five years ago. It has changed over the years but still has what it takes to keep all happy.

As we walked back the sky bid us farewell....

Sunday, September 6, 2020

A "Quiet" Out, For There Is No Shouting In The Morning And A Question

A long time reader and contributor of Small Stream Reflections who comments as "mike" emailed me some weeks ago saying he wanted to do a piece on the "Tiny Ten", which is a tenkara rod I had purchased. Mike is a writer for a very popular Outdoors Magazine here in the northeast United States. It seems that my blog post on the Tiny Ten caused him to purchase the rod and give it a go. The Tiny Ten is perfect for small close quarter fishing which Maine and most New England states have plenty of. The article is well written and has that special "Maine" touch to it.

I'm sure the September 2020 issue is readily available in New England, and maybe available online. If possible I encourage you to read it....honestly it's that good.

Question? Do you put a cover on your peanut butter crackers, or do you prefer it one side at a time?

Friday, September 4, 2020

Wild Yellow Flowers

"I'm going fishing" does not mean "I'm going catching"...this became true to me one recent outing. Walking to the stream I encountered some very sunny and happy looking wild flowers. Their yellow petals reaching outward as if to say welcome friend. Upon seeing them I just knew this was going to be a most wonderful day. The woods were wet from a previous rain shower and had that unmistakable smell that must be experienced to describe. I reached my first run of the stream and cast the fly. It drifted as many a fly has done previously and had gone unnoticed. This no response issue continued for an hour or so. Several fly changes did not help and I was looking at a white striped black critter for my efforts.

I came to this spot and thought that the log would be a good place for a brookies to hide. I made a cast and allowed the fly to drift as close to it as possible. Suddenly a brookie rose to it and missed. I was excited, imagine getting excited over a miss, well it was that kind of day and it felt good.

My next cast led to a rise and a hookup. Soon a nice brookie was at hand. I'm not sure if this was the same fish that missed the previous offering, but it felt good to say goodbye to that "critter" on the bank.

Taking several more casts into that same run I took a second brookie. When it came to hand I was able to admire this beautiful hen...she was awesome. Two brookies in a matter of a few minutes from the same little hole. A big accomplishment maybe not to some. But for a small stream angler it's the cap to an outing that started with a bunch of wild yellow flowers.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

September 1st......

Today is September 1st, the first day of Autumn, that is Meteorological Autumn. I really don't care which autumn it is I just feel great that we are now closer to what I call the "glorious season"...This morning I have on a flannel shirt, a slight chill forced me to take the action and it's better then turning on the heat. At 74 there are not many things that "really" excite me but autumn is still one of them. I have thoughts of butternut squash baking in the oven, the smell of sliced apples with cinnamon. The chill in the air, the color of leaves along a stream. These things I have longed for since January.

My thoughts reach a pinnacle when I think of bringing to hand one of natures most beautiful creatures...the wild brook trout in his full fall attire is a sight to behold.

In keeping with the colors of autumn I present a favorite fall pattern..."Salars Nemesis"...brook trout like the one above find this fly to their liking.

So my friends welcome the "glorious season"...and enjoy it.